Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key to Headline U.S. Book Show

Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key; photo credit: Sally Montana

NEW YORK—April 4, 2023—Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key, authors of the forthcoming The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey Through the Art and Craft of Humor (Chronicle Books, Oct.), will give the closing keynote for the adult books program at the U.S. Book Show. Appearing in person at the book show, the duo will interview each other about their debut nonfiction book, which grew out of their award-winning podcast of the same name. As a bonus for event attendees, the Keys will host a live Q&A session with the audience. The event, taking place at NYU’s Kimmel Center on May 24, 2023, will also be livestreamed.

“Keegan and I love our local bookstores and libraries, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be in person with you at the U.S. Book Show and share some stories about the creation of our first book, The History of Sketch Comedy,” said Elle Key (above right).

The Emmy–winning actor Keegan-Michael Key has a wide-ranging career in television, film and stage. Key entered the worldwide stage in 2004, when he joined the cast of Mad TV and met the actor Jordan Peele. The two went on to co-create and co-star in the Comedy Central variety show Key & Peele, which aired from 2012–2015 and won, among other honors, two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. In 2021, Key and his partner, the film and television producer and director Elle Key, started a 10-episode podcast on Audible that she co-wrote and directed called The History of Sketch Comedy.

In 2022, Elle won the People’s Voice Webby Award for Best Writing for the podcast, which the New York Times called “a lighthearted but earnest attempt to demonstrate the enduring power and understated complexity of the [sketch comedy] art form.” Described by the publisher as “part masterclass, part memoir,” the book walks the reader through the long and venerable history of sketch comedy, with personal interviews with virtuosos of the form such as John Oliver, Mel Brooks and Carol Burnett.

Other keynote speakers appearing in person, previously announced, include Sarah Jessica Parker in conversation with Kim Coleman Foote; bestselling author Lauren Groff; The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and Newbery medalist Meg Medina.

See the full schedule here.

Registration is open for the U.S. Book Show; early-bird rates are now in effect. Members of the media and book reviewers may apply for complimentary in-person and/or virtual press passes on the press page.

High-res headshots of the authors and high-res logos are available under the Images and Logos tab at

For more information, contact Christi Cassidy, +1-917-217-4269,

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